Recent Announcements from the Erie Zoo



Erie Zoo Welcomes Canada Lynx Kittens

Erie Zoo Welcomes Canada Lynx Kittens

Posted on May 29th, 2024 at 9:26 AM


[Erie-PA]— The Erie Zoo is thrilled to announce the arrival of two Canada lynx kittens, born on Friday, May 17, 2024. This is the first litter from parents Hunter and Roxy, which marks a significant milestone for the zoo's efforts in conservation and education.                                                                                                                                                                   

Hunter is a six-year-old male who was born at Erie Zoo. His parents, Russell and Martina, were the zoo's first pair of Canada lynx. In March of last year, Roxy, a three-year-old female, joined the Erie Zoo from Hershey, Pennsylvania's Zoo America. Their introduction was thoroughly planned, and the process began in September 2023. By the end of the year, they were able to be housed together, just in time for breeding season, which takes place from February to April in this region.                                                                                    

Both mother and kittens are doing well and are currently being monitored through closed-circuit cameras under the attentive care of expert veterinary and animal care staff. While the new family bonds and grows, Hunter will remain on exhibit while Roxy tends to the needs of her kittens behind the scenes. This provision gives them the privacy and security they need to thrive.                                                                                                                                                                                      

"We are overjoyed to welcome the new lynx kittens to the Erie Zoo family," said Roo Kojancie, President and CEO of the Erie Zoo. "Their birth is a testament to our commitment to conservation and provides a unique opportunity for our community to learn more about these fascinating animals."                                                                                                  

The birth of these kittens underscores zoos' vital role in wildlife conservation and education. The AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) established a specialized Canada Lynx Management Group to advise zoos in the species' husbandry, breeding, education, behavioral training, and enrichment needs. Coordinating breeding pairs is critical in ensuring the genetic diversity and sustainability of the population. Erie Zoo's Animal Curator, Jennifer Salandra, currently serves as an advisor in the group.                                                                      

The Erie Zoo invites the public to stay tuned for updates on the kittens' development and future opportunities to see them. The zoo will provide regular updates on its social media channels and website in the coming weeks.                                                                                                                                                               

Erie Zoo's Last Chance Lagoon Highlighted on National News Program

Posted on May 24th, 2024 at 11:38 AM



[Erie-PA]— The Erie Zoo is delighted to announce that its local conservation efforts have reached a national audience. On Wednesday, May 8th, Christopher Booker from PBS NewsHour visited the Zoo to learn more about its Last Chance Lagoon. The footage they captured aired last night during the PBS NewsHour program.


Erie Zoo’s Last Chance Lagoon Program
was established in September 2023 to help mitigate ecological damage caused by releasing goldfish and koi into the Great Lakes Watershed. The initiative offers a permanent sanctuary for relinquished goldfish and koi, providing owners with a responsible alternative to releasing them into the wild. Upon surrendering a fish, owners complete an intake form and schedule a drop-off date for a mandatory 30-day quarantine period. During this time, all fish undergo thorough vet checks, necessary treatments, and exit exams to ensure their health before being introduced to the lagoon.


"The Last Chance Lagoon Program aims to prevent or diminish the influx of unwanted pet goldfish and koi into the Great Lakes Watershed," says Heather Gula, Education Director and Conservation Committee Chair. "Through education, awareness, and responsible rehoming, we can protect our watershed and preserve the delicate balance of our aquatic ecosystems."


Despite being in operation for less than a year, the Last Chance Lagoon program has successfully rehomed 52 goldfish. Community assistance is vital in protecting local watersheds and preserving the natural beauty of Lake Erie for future generations.


The PBS NewsHour segment is available to stream at For more information about the Last Chance Lagoon program, ways to help, or to schedule an appointment to surrender goldfish or koi, please visit

Press Release Announcing Erie Zoo CEO

Press Release Announcing Erie Zoo CEO

Posted on December 5th, 2023 at 11:00 AM



Erie Zoo Appoints Roo Kojancie, Chief Executive Officer

Fmr. Zookeeper, COO will lead the zoo’s centennial anniversary, strategic plan, reaccredidation efforts

ERIE, PA (December 5, 2023) - The Erie Zoo announced Melissa “Roo” Kojancie as its new chief executive officer today, after a robust months-long search to replace Scott Mitchell, who continues to serve as the zoo’s director of development. Kojancie has more than twenty years of industry experience, serving as an animal keeper, educator, and the chief operating officer of the Erie Zoo.

Zoo Closing Early

Posted on July 19th, 2023 at 2:00 PM

Your Erie Zoo will be closing early on Friday, August 11th at 3pm to prepare for the Felines & Wines Fundraiser. 
To get more details or purchase tickets visit the Event Page

UPDATE: Lion Habitat

Posted on July 7th, 2023 at 1:35 PM

On the morning of July 7th a layer of glass in one of the panels at the outdoor lion habitat cracked in several areas. The cracking of this middle layer was caused by a rock that one of the lions unearthed and was playing with in their habitat. Erie Zoo staff took quick and appropriate action to recall the lionesses into their indoor enclosure to ensure the safety of the animals. Our guests were never in danger due to the specific design and engineering of the glass. This zoo-grade barrier is used in lion habitats throughout the zoological world and is made up of three (3) layers of both glass and laminate. The lionesses, Eva and Desta, are safe, unharmed, and for now can be viewed from their indoor habitat in the Main Building while we work to replace the panel.

Air Quality Update

Posted on June 30th, 2023 at 10:08 AM
As the air quality from the Canadian wildfires is expected to continue to fluctuate throughout the season, we are working to adapt our operations to both address safety as well as visitor experience.
Today, the Erie Zoo will be open with limited operations. Many animals may be off habitat due to current air quality concerns. Outdoor rides will not be running at this time and concessions will be closed. The indoor animal buildings and Gift Shop will remain open. Carousel hours will fluctuate depending on temperature as all doors will be closed.
We strongly value the health of our guests, staff, and animals and if you choose to visit during this time we encourage you to do so safely.
We realize this is an evolving situation and the zoo team is working hard to adapt to this ever-changing scenario. Veterinary and Animal Care teams are monitoring the animals closely and continue to take appropriate action in the best interest of their wellbeing.
As the air quality is expected to fluctuate throughout the summer, we will continue to provide updates on our social media and website.
We thank you for your patience, support, and understanding during this unprecedented time. Stay safe everyone!

Air Quality Update

Posted on June 29th, 2023 at 8:57 AM

The current air quality for the Erie area is back to a moderate level. The Erie Zoo will resume operation, opening at 10 AM today. We will continue to monitor the air quality reports and adjust our operating hours if the air quality proceeds into unsafe levels. Please check our social media pages or website before planning your trip to the Zoo!

Closed Due to Air Quality

Posted on June 28th, 2023 at 9:20 AM
Due to air quality concerns for our animals, staff and guests, the Erie Zoo will be closed today.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide daily updates on operations as the situation evolves. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Stay safe everyone!

Closing Early

Posted on June 19th, 2023 at 11:15 AM

The Erie Zoo will be closing early at 1pm on Saturday, June 24th to prepare for The Mane Event fundraiser. Operations will resume as normal Sunday, June 25th. Thank you for your understanding!

Air Quality Update; June 9th

Posted on June 9th, 2023 at 10:39 AM

The Erie Zoo will resume its normal daily operating hours from 10 AM-5 PM today as we continue to closely monitor the air quality in our region. Our Erie Zoo team ensures that we will make necessary adjustments to our operating hours and animal care in the case the AQI changes to an unsafe level. Any new updates regarding the air quality will be posted to our social media pages and on our website at